Attack suspect ’became obsessed with Muslims after watching Rochdale drama’

The man accused of carrying out the Finsbury Park terror attack was a "ticking time-bomb" who became obsessed with Muslims after watching a drama based on the Rochdale grooming scandal, a court heard.

Darren Osborne, 48, is said to have made racist comments about all Muslims raping children and being capable of blowing people up after watching the BBC drama Three Girls, based on the testimony of Rochdale victims.

The unemployed father-of-four said all Muslims were rapists who belonged to paedophile gangs, according to his partner Sarah Andrews, prosecutor Jonathan Rees QC told Woolwich Crown Court.

Police cordon at Finsbury Park in north London, following an incident where Makram Ali, 51, was a victim of a terror attack causing his death.

While he had not displayed racist tendencies as far as she knew before watching the programme in May, she believed the London Bridge and Manchester Arena terror attacks which followed soon after "seemed to fuel the rage inside him", Mr Rees added.

The court heard how devices seized from his Cardiff home showed internet searches for Britain First, the English Defence League and a video, said to be fake, which purportedly showed Muslims celebrating following the Paris terror attack.

It appeared to Ms Andrews that the defendant was becoming brainwashed, and with the benefit of hindsight she described him a "ticking time-bomb", Mr Rees said.

She is said to have referred to her partner as a "loner and a functioning alcoholic" with an "unpredictable temperament".

A forensic tent stands next to a van in Finsbury Park, north London, after Makram Ali, 51 died following a terror attack.

Mr Rees said Ms Andrews felt their relationship had broken down during the last year to the extent that they did not really speak with each other any more.

She revealed Osborne, who was on medication for anxiety and depression, had threatened to kill himself twice in the weeks leading up to the incident by putting cable ties round his neck, he said.

Unemployed for the last decade, the defendant felt worthless and that he did not fit in, according to his partner.

Makram Ali, 51, a victim of the terror attack in Finsbury Park who died as a result of multiple injuries.

- PA



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